This Summer’s Best Breweries

I’ll start my post with this; Wisconsin is the land of beer and cheese. Now, what you’re probably  thinking, especially if you hail from this state is,”Chris, that’s a cliche opening sentence.”  You’re right, it absolutely is…but it’s also an undeniable fact.  I kind of had to lead in like that, because one of those Badgerland staples is today’s topic.  That topic would be beer…microbreweries to be exact.  To be a bit more precise, I’ll list the top five beer factories, at least the top five I’ve visited this past summer. Each one of them resided in America’s Dairyland.

Stubborn Brothers Brewery

I think I’m like a lot of folks; I  love breweries.  What’s more, if a beer factory happens to be set inside a storied building, one that highlights the structure’s original purpose, I’ll remember it for life.   I found exactly that in Shawano, Wisconsin. 

Stubborn Brothers Brewery resides in an old Vaudeville theater,

and, with its historic features, you could guess that live performances took place here.  I mean, the place still has its stage and orchestra pit attractively intact. 

Along with constantly rotating taps, there’s drink specials to boot….

If memory serves me correctly, a full boot costs ten bucks.

This place also functions as a full menu restaurant.

Three Sheeps Brewing Company

When I was younger, my last choice, as far as a  hangout was concerned, would have been a warehouse.  Do you blame young me? Warehouses are dusty and drab.  Yet, that’s the type of building, though hip and fun, that Three Sheeps Brewing Company is set in.

And I have to say, this place, with it’s rustic furniture, brings up an interesting thought.  I imagine an old  factory, one that  functioned during America’s manufacturing heyday.   The production plant’s bosses, as I picture benevolent entrepreneurs,  might have wanted to celebrate the company’s successes. Those employees would need a gathering spot.  What better place to congregate than the enterprise’s warehouse?

So, along with my ruminations on old industrial buildings, whether accurate or not, I’ll mention that this brewery offers a ton of rotating beverages.  That includes a complete section of barrel aged brews.  This place was definitely fun and memorable.

Lion’s Tail Brewing Company

Appropriately located on Neenah’s Commercial Street, you’ll find an old, stately financial building.  The Lion’s Tail Brewing Company, which is located on this structure’s first floor, puts a fun twist on this  testament of American prosperity.

Lion’s Tail offers plenty of taps, bottles and cans.  Its yearly total, when counting its rotating brews, is astronomical.  So, with beer and location scoring high, I had to include this place on my list.

Stillmank Brewing Company

Of all the breweries in the state, I frequent the Green Bay beer factories most…and they’re all quality.  If I were to choose a favorite, which I guess I am, I’d choose Stillmank.  That’s due to two very important reasons.

First, as you can tell, at least by reading my first three brewery choices, I really like a unique setting.  You know, someplace that has a history.  Stillmank isn’t that.  Actually, it’s kind of like Three Sheeps, being that the exterior’s shell is partially corrugated metal.

But even if it strays from my typical choice, this hangout has mom and pop establishment written all over it. What’s great about Stillmank’s setting, and I truly love this, is its small, intimate taproom.  Along with that, you can sit right amidst the 90 barrel system brewery…and that’s cool.

But beyond setting, and a I guess more importantly, Stillmank produces some great beers.  That includes my favorite Green Bay beer: Killer Bees.  Its a delicious jalepeno blonde…

yeah, a hot blonde.

Sabbatical Brewing Company

Finally, right on the cusp of Manitowoc’s city limits, you’ll find an interesting spot. Never mind that it features a ton of rotating taps; there’s something beyond well brewed beer here. This place has a VERY appealing shell. Sabbatical Brewing Company resides in an old feed mill.

If you don’t know, a feedmill, which happened to be a common smalltown business, was a spot where a farmer would buy his livestock’s food. This midwestern farm boy, who was a dairy producer’s child, remembers trips to a very similar place during his childhood.

So a structure like this, with very little updating, causes recollections of 25 cent sodas and bonding time with dad. Anyways, for you, I believe it would be an interesting visit. I say this because, beyond the dated exterior, a classy interior vibe lies in wait.

So, that’s my favorite brewery visits – at least for this summer. Don’t get me wrong, there are other great places, some within the very same city, that I haven’t mentioned. I simply don’t have time to recap each one. These five, and I think you’d feel the same way, had a very strong appeal. I hope, if you’re like me, an avid beer lover, that you’re able to visit a few of these on your own.

Safe Travels!

2 responses to “This Summer’s Best Breweries”

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